Roadside Ignition Started 28,000-Acre Springs Fire: Officials

The Springs Fire consumed nearly 44 square miles and was sparked off the side of the Ventura Freeway in Camarillo

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A huge wildfire burning in Ventura County forced the evacuation of, among other communities, CSU Channel Islands. Classes are scheduled to resume on Monday and authorities believe they know what caused the 28,000-acre Springs Fire that came dangerously close to the Camarillo campus. Tena Ezzeddine reports for the NBC4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. on May 5, 2013.

    An undetermined roadside ignition off the Ventura (101) Freeway in the Conejo Grade sparked the Springs Fire, officials said on Sunday.

    Officials are calling it an "undetermined roadside ignition of grass and debris" that started the region's largest wildfire so far this year that scorched nearly 44 square miles along the Ventura and Los Angeles county lines.

    Springs Fire Is 56 Percent Contained

    [LA] Springs Fire Is 56 Percent Contained
    Nearly 1,900 firefighting personnel continued to battle the massive Springs Fire, ravaging more than 28,000 acres in Ventura County. It was more than half contained by Saturday evening, and many evacuated residents were allowed to return home. Tena Ezzeddine reports for Thousand Oaks for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on May 4, 2013.

    “Undetermined is a very broad spectrum. So, they couldn’t find something specific that caused the fire," said Tony McHale, with the Ventura County Fire Department. "Examples of the kinds of things that we find along the highway – large metallic items that fall off vehicles, these things can cause sparks. Sometimes there’s discarded cigarettes."

    Now that firefighters have the Springs Fire nearly under control after three days fighting in steep, rugged and rocky terrain, the focus of the blaze turns to a grassy area off the Ventura Freeway in the Conejo Grade where the fire was sparked on May 2.

    28,000-Acre Springs Fire Is 30 Percent Contained

    [LA] 28,000-Acre Springs Fire Is 30 Percent Contained
    Firefighters continued to battle a major fire that broke out Thursday in Camarillo. Reggie Kumar reports for Today in LA Weekend on Saturday, May 4, 2013.

    Full Coverage: Southern California Wildfires

    The fire began off the southbound side of the Ventura Freeway at Camarillo Springs Road. The fire quickly spread to over 28,000 acres of the Santa Monica Mountains in near triple-digit heat and low humidity.

    Evacuated Coastal Residents Return Home: "Everything's Better Now"

    [LA] Evacuated Coastal Residents Return Home: "Everything's Better Now"
    The huge Springs Fire came within feet of a Malibu residence on Deer Creek Road, but the residents of the spared home were allowed to return Saturday night as crews continued to battle the 28,000-acre wildfire. Jane Yamamoto reports from Malibu for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on May 4, 2013.

    It was 75 percent contained by Sunday evening with full containment expected by Monday.

    Some 15 homes and several recreational vehicles were damaged and several communities in the path were evacuated.

    Five firefighters suffered minor injuries, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. Two of the first responders suffered wounds from falls, and three had debris in their eyes.

    The fire prompted a massive mutual-aid response from agencies across the state.

    At one point, 1,900 firefighters -- assisted by water-dropping and fire-retardant dropping planes and helicopters -- attacked the flames.